Saturday Superstar: Free Shards

| Saturday, January 23, 2010
TL;DR: Don't pick DE if the item vendors for more than the shard.

[Just moving my response to Stabs into the main post]
The greed/DE selection is done before any rolls. They have the same weight. So I pick greed and you pick DE; if I win I get the item and if you win you get a shard. Everyone makes their own choice on what they want to do with the item and they are unaffected by the choices of others.

After running a lot of heroics I've come across a stupid pattern: people hit DE on everything. Last night I tried to point out that hitting DE on a 15g weapon to get a 8g shard is a bad idea. They said they liked the free shards and didn't seem to understand the concept of "vendor the weapon and you can buy two shards." In their pursuit of a 'free shard' they were actually denying themselves a shard!

So I did what anyone else would do: laughed to myself and moved on.

I lied. I made a forum thread instead.

Wait! Before you select disenchant...

Check the vendor price relative to shard prices. I'm pretty sure all epics are worth more as shards (assuming they're not upgrades). But blues are often worth less.

Weapons are the best example: they sell for 15g or more, but on my server dream shards are only 7-8g. I can't imagine any server being so much higher that they'd beat the vendor price.

Don't fall for the trap of "but it's a free shard." Sell the weapon for 15g and buy two shards off the AH.

It's only a few gold, but if you're running a lot of heroics over and over, that's going to add up. Free gold, just for reading vendor prices!

The first response was lazy in the opposite direction: greeding everything and potentially losing shard value rather than vendor value.
The second person claimed rational self-interest: needing on everything.

And then it went downhill. More downhill than Lazy and Ninja.
Not all of us are selling the shards. I'm building up a base so I can get enchants when I get really good gear.

That person got trolled. Then they swore at the troll.

I like keeping a stockpile of enchanting mats.

Means I don't have to sift through pages of 1 infinite dust.

This is entirely irrelevant considering blues don't DE into dust.

Then it's time for a round of Poor Accounting
I don't need shards to sell, I need them for enchants so I don't need to buy them.

step 1: collect materials
step 2: buy a vellum
step 3: enchant it with a wanted enchant
step 4: sell for profit.

The markup can be substantially higher than the vendor difference ^_^

The second person is the best example: he fails to recognize that the scroll profit was there regardless of the 'free shard'. He could have bought them off the AH and enchanted for profit. But instead by failing to break down where the profit is actually coming from, he's harming the economy; first by destroying the 15g (without getting 15g in value) and then by reducing his role in the economy. It's the equivalent of growing tomatoes in dirt mixed with shredded 50's just so you don't have to go to the store.

Finally near the end of the thread two people seemed to get it.
I've seen an epic BoE drop before in a 5 man. 3 out of the 5 people in the group quickly clicked "Disenchant", not even looking at what the item was. Luckily my guild (who was running chain heroics with me) won the role, and made himself a nice 1k later that night. A lot more money than the 30g Abyss Crystal one of the other PUGs would have got.

Check what you're Disenchanting before clicking the button, you might be losing out...

if you vendor the thing for 15g and then buy 2 shards for 8g, you CAN MAKE TWICE AS MUCH VELLUMS TO SELL FOR A PROFIT.

that is the whole point of this thread.

gawd, you just made my headache even worse.

Only one person had what could be viewed as a counter-argument.
It's still like 15g for a shard and 30g for a crystal on my realm. At least the last time i checked.

If shards are actually that expensive, then it would make sense to DE out of habit. But more likely the price went down and they didn't notice. I know shards dropped in price since abyssal shatter came out and even more since random heroics and auto-DE; since both inflated the supply by a lot.

To put this in terms of the enchanter with his brilliant vellum scheme.
1) Get shard
2) Make profit from enchanting
Those are the important points. Now imagine that step one was instead a choice between two options:
1a) Get shard
1b) Get 15g
And imagine that if you pick b there's another step you can take:
2a) Buy a shard for 8g and pocket the extra 7g as pure profit.

Normally I would try to create a sort of pseudo-rational argument for these people. I'd explain how they have a different perspective or value, but I can't seem to find that. It's just people not thinking and as a result harming themselves economically. This is worse than the 'farming it for free' mentality because they're not accepting an arbitrary lower gold per hour, they're actively destroying their potential gold. Do you want 15g or do you want something worth 8g? That's the question, and people are too busy thinking about how the 8g shard is free that they miss out on the 15g free gold!


Stabs said...

I don't quite understand the mechanics?

Isn't the option Greed or Disenchant handled on an individual basis? In other words if you Greed it and you win you get an item not a shard regardless of what other people have chosen?

If one player hitting disenchant shards an item they don't win that seems daft to me.

Klepsacovic said...

The greed/DE selection is done before any rolls. They have the same weight. So I pick greed and you pick DE; if I win I get the item and if you win you get a shard. Everyone makes their own choice on what they want to do with the item and they are unaffected by the choices of others.

Dan H said...

From a pure gold/run perspective, you're totally right, but I do think there are a couple of reasonable counter-arguments (and I say this as somebody who basically does autoshard these days).

The first issue is simply bag space. I'm a horrible packrat, so my bags are always overflowing, and I find it really helpful to have everything disenchanted into stuff which stacks, otherwise I wind up with bags full of BoP blues which I routinely forget to vendor.

The second issue is simply routine. If you're in the habit of farming shards from heroics, enchanting scrolls and selling the scrolls on the AH, then adding an extra step changes the routine, which makes the whole thing more effort, and often it's not "gold per hour" that's the issue so much as "gold per unit mental effort".

Of course this could all be self-justification, I'm chronic for this myself. Conceptually I know that if I want to level my inscription on my Warlock, the quickest thing to do is to run a few dailies and buy herbs with the profits, but there's always part of me that thinks it's "better" to go and pick them myself, even though it takes far longer.

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